Ohio requires that you be financially responsible for any costs that may occur due to incidents with your vehicle. The best way to fulfill this responsibility is by having a car insurance policy that meets Ohio’s insurance requirements.
Read more to learn all about Ohio car insurance requirements, laws, rates, and discounts.
Ohio Car Insurance Requirements
The most common way to comply with Ohio’s financial responsibility law is by carrying liability car insurance to help pay for injuries or property damage resulting from a car accident that you cause.
Your car insurance policy must have at least the following minimums:
- $25,000 for injuries or death, per person.
- $50,000 total for injuries or death to 2 people or more in any 1 accident.
- $25,000 for property damage in an accident.
Optional Car Insurance
While you are only required to carry liability car insurance in Ohio, you may want to consider purchasing other types of car insurance coverages to help further protect you financially.
Most OH car insurance companies offer the following optional types of coverage:
- Collision – Helps cover accident-related damages to your car.
- Comprehensive – Helps cover certain non-accident related damages to your car, such as those resulting from theft or vandalism.
- Uninsured/underinsured – These coverages will help you with damages caused by an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver who is not covered enough to pay for your damages.
- Towing and labor.
NOTE: While state law does not require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverages, you may have to purchase both coverage types as part of the loan or lease agreement on your car.
Ohio Proof of Insurance
When registering your car in Ohio, you must submit a signed statement that you have and will continue to have OH proof of insurance while operating your vehicle.
You must provide your proof of insurance:
- When you are involved in a car accident.
- At the request of an officer during traffic stops.
- When randomly selected by the BMV. (Read below for more information.)
If you are unable to provide proof of insurance to an officer during a traffic stop, you will be given a notice that will explain options you may take in order to prove that you had insurance at the time of your citation in order to avoid consequences of an insurance violation.
Random Insurance Verification
As a way of assuring that all vehicles are insured, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles randomly selectsapproximately 5% of registered vehicle owners to submit proof of insurance to the BMV.
If you are among the randomly selected, you will be sent a notice by mail from the BMV. You must submit your proof of insurance within 21 days of the mailing date on your notice.
For any questions regarding the Random Selection Program, call the BMV at (877) 315-6605.
Fines and Penalties
When proof of insurance is required, failure to show or provide proof of insurance will lead to penalties that include:
- Loss of driving privileges.
- This will require payment of a reinstatement fee in order to regain your privilege to drive.
- Suspension of plates and registration.
- Mandatory requirement of SR-22 filing.
- SR-22 insurance is a type of proof of insurance usually filed by your insurance carrier, guaranteeing that you will remain insured for a specific period of time.
- SR-22 insurance can be costly. Avoid insurance violations to maintain low-cost premiums.
Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan
The Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP) is an organization of insurance companies within the state that helps guarantee the accessibility of car insurance to all eligible drivers.
If you are considered a high-risk driver, you may be denied coverage from any individual car insurance company. However, your insurance agent can help you apply for auto insurance through the OAIP.
In the OAIP, all participating car insurance companies collectively share the risks of providing coverage to high-risk drivers.
To be eligible for the OAIP, you must have been rejected coverage by an Ohio-licensed insurance company, and you must hold a valid driver’s license.
Car insurance through the OAIP can be expensive. Shop around for cheaper car insurance and use the OAIP only as a last resort.
The Ohio Department of Insurance
The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) helps enforce rules and regulations of the insurance industry in Ohio.
Additionally, the ODI helps consumers navigate their insurance policies. The ODI can directly help consumers with complaints against insurance companies and insurance fraud.
If you have an issue you are not able to solve with your auto insurance carrier, you may file a complaint with the ODI.
While the ODI may be able to help resolve a dispute you have with your insurance company, it cannot:
- Act as your lawyer.
- Give you legal advice.
- Force a company to solve a dispute if no law has been broken.
- Determine medical costs and needs.
To file a complaint against a car insurance company, call the Ohio Department of Insurance at (800) 686-1526.
Car Insurance Fraud
Fraud costs insurance companies a large sum of money annually. These costs get passed down to you through increases in premiums.
Car insurance fraud often involves:
- Falsifying or exaggerating extent of injuries.
- Falsifying damage to vehicles.
- Staging car accidents.
If you suspect car insurance fraud, you can report it online at the ODI website.
Determining Your Car Insurance Rates
Several factors are involved in helping to determine your car insurance premium.
When shopping for car insurance, remember that most companies will factor the following into your rates:
- Your car’s:
- Your driving record.
- Your credit history.
- Deductibles. (This is the amount you are responsible towards a claim.)
- The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
One of the best ways to save on Ohio car insurance is through discounts.
When comparing car insurance quotes, ask about discounts such as:
- Good driver.
- Good student.
- Anti-theft device.
While discounts are a great way to lower your auto insurance rates, the best way to save money on car insurance is to maintain a clean driving record. Obey all traffic laws and drive safely and you will be on your way to getting and maintaining the cheap car insurance.
Most Stolen Cars in Ohio
Driving a car that is a known target for theft could increase your car insurance rates.
The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Ohio for 2015, according to www.nicb.org:
- Dodge Caravan.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Chevrolet Impala.
- Honda Accord.
- Chevrolet Malibu.
- Honda Civic.
- Toyota Camry.
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).